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Hello, I'm Clare. I've just taken down this sign.
It says, "No visitors allowed," and that's not right.
I love people visiting me.
And I'm expecting someone for a cup of tea later.
And there's a tiny little visitor in tonight's bedtime story.
The story is called A Visitor For Bear.
No-one ever came to Bear's house.
It had always been that way
and Bear was quite sure he didn't like visitors.
He even had a sign - "No visitors allowed."
One morning, Bear heard a tap-tap-tapping on his front door.
When he opened it, there was a mouse,
small and grey and bright eyed.
"No visitors allowed," Bear said, pointing to the sign.
"Go away!" He closed the door
and went back to the business of making his breakfast.
He set out one cup and one spoon.
But when he opened the cupboard to get one bowl,
there was the mouse. Small and grey and bright eyed.
"I told you to leave!" cried Bear.
"Perhaps we could just have a drop of tea," said the mouse.
"Out!" Commanded Bear.
Oh, sorry," said the mouse, "I'll be going now."
Bear showed him to the door and shut it firmly,
then he went back to making his breakfast.
But when he opened the bread drawer for one slice of bread,
there was the mouse.
Small and grey and bright eyed.
"Unbelievable!" rumbled Bear, "Away with you, clear off!"
"I do like a bit of cheese," said the mouse.
Bear pointed a rigid claw towards the door.
"Right then, here I go, farewell."
And the mouse whisked out of the door.
This time, Bear shut the door very firmly and locked it tight.
He locked the windows too, for good measure.
Then, once again, he went back to the business of making his breakfast.
But when he opened the fridge to get one egg, there was the mouse.
Small and grey and bright eyed, of course.
"Be gone!" roared Bear.
"Shall we light the fire?" asked the mouse.
"This is impossible, intolerable, insufferable!" cried Bear,
shaking with anger and disbelief.
"Terribly sorry. Now you see me, now you don't. I'm gone."
And the mouse looked very sorry while he waited for Bear
to unbolt the door and let him out.
This time, before he went back to the business of making his breakfast,
Bear shut the door very, very, VERY firmly.
Locked it, boarded up the windows, blocked the chimney
and even put the plug in the bath tub.
Carefully, Bear set about the business of making his breakfast.
He opened the cupboard, no mouse. Ah.
He opened the bread drawer. Nothing.
He opened the fridge. Mouse-free, yes, indeed.
He lifted the lid from the kettle.
And there was the mouse. Small, grey and, well, you know the rest.
Bear fell to the floor.
"I give up!" he blubbered.
"You win, I am undone."
"So sorry," said the mouse,
"but perhaps I could just have a tiny bit of cheese and a cup of tea.
"And do you think we could unblock the chimney and light a nice fire?"
Bear blew his nose with a loud honk. "But then you must go,"
he sniffed, "No visitors allowed."
"You have my word," said the mouse.
Bear unboarded the windows, unlocked the door, unblocked the chimney
and took the plug out of the bath.
He brought out two plates of cheese and two teacups.
And he lit a fire in the grate for two sets of toes.
The mouse warmed his feet and nibbled and sipped and Bear did too.
They sat for a long time. The clock on Bear's mantelpiece ticked loudly.
Bear cleared his throat, "Ahem."
The mouse looked most attentive.
No-one had ever been most attentive to Bear.
"The fire is nice," Bear announced.
"Lovely," said the mouse.
No-one had ever said Bear's fires were lovely.
"I can do a headstand," said Bear.
"Very impressive!" exclaimed the mouse.
Bear told a joke, the mouse laughed heartily.
No-one had ever laughed at Bear's jokes before.
Bear began to think of another joke.
The mouse set down his teacup.
Bear quickly lifted the teapot.
"There's plenty more," he said.
"So sorry," said the mouse. "Most kind, but I must be on my way."
"Really, you needn't go," said Bear. "I'm off," said the mouse,
springing up from his chair.
"Wait!" cried Bear.
But the mouse stepped out the door.
"Toodle-oo!" said the mouse.
"Don't go!" wailed Bear. "But I gave you my word."
Said the mouse, pointing at the "No visitors" sign.
"Oh, that." cried Bear, pulling down the sign and tearing it up.
"That's for salesmen, not for friends."
"Not for friends?" asked the mouse, small and grey and bright eyed.
Bear nodded. The mouses bright eyes glowed brighter.
"Do you like one lump of sugar or two?" said Bear, most politely.
"I like two." said the mouse.
And Bear agreed.
And that story was called A Visitor For Bear.
So that's who put this sign up.
Must have been Bear.
Well, I'm glad I've taken it down, I need to put the kettle on
ready for a nice cup of tea when my visitor arrives.
I'll see you soon for another story. Night, night.
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